The God Who Speaks

A Year of the Word.

Who can forget the mesmeric beginning of the fourth Gospel, the Gospel of St John:

‘In the beginning was the Word,

the Word was with God

and the Word was God.’

The power of these words never fails to move and, following on from last year’s diocesan theme of ‘Adoremus – Our Eucharistic Journey’, this year’s theme is about the Word of God as spoken to us through the Bible.

 

Mrs Round leading Juniors in learning about the Holy Eucharist and our new monstrance.

This academic year the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have designated as ‘The God Who Speaks – A Year of the Word’ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’, and the 1600th anniversary of the death of St Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin. In keeping with the Church’s three year cycle there will also be a specific focus on St Matthew’s Gospel.

The aim of The God Who Speaks – A Year of the Word is ‘Celebrating, Living and Sharing God’s Word’.  It invites us to explore the most extraordinary book ever written.  Or rather, a collection of books.  In the Old Testament alone there are 46 books and, in the New Testament, 27 books.  A grand total of 73 books in the Bible altogether.

If you have never read any of the books of the Bible, this is the year to remedy that.  Do not feel that you have to read it from beginning to end.  Dip into it.  Read a book here and there.  There’s history, poetry, prophecy, myth, law, letters – an extraordinary range of material rests within the Bible’s pages to fascinate and inspire.

The books of the Old Testament lead inexorably to the New Testament and its revelation of the Word incarnate, Jesus Christ.

The official launch of The God Who Speaks – The Year of the Word was on 30th September, the feast day of St Jerome, when H.E. Cardinal Vincent Nichols released a video from the National Gallery launching the year using a painting of St Jerome – https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/films-scripture-and-art/st-jerome/

The year itself will officially start on Sunday 1st December 2019, the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Church’s Liturgical Year.

As the website of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales says, ‘Scripture is at the centre of everything the Church does. The word of God shapes our prayer and worship. The Bible shows us how to understand the world, how we are called to live and relate to each other.’

Our patron, St Augustine of Hippo, had this to say about the scriptures: ‘The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.’

Take the opportunity this year to discover more about these letters from home.